Cash-strapped League 1 side Whitehaven have admitted they need to start spending the money pledged by supporters to ensure they finish the season – as the takeover of the Cumbrian club appears to be off.
Haven revealed earlier this year that they needed to raise £60,000 to cover a shortfall in cashflow to ensure they see out the current campaign – before a magnificent response from both the local community and the wider game to help raise the money.
That coincided with a potential takeover from businessman Stuart Harvey, who then told League Express on Monday the takeover was in danger of collapsing.
He said: “We’ve seen documents which are not fit for purpose in regards to finance. The debt of the club is unknown, the appeal money is pledged money, not raised money, and we just feel a bit misled.
“We’ve never received any documentation from the shareholders meeting to raise any points with us, and we feel really let down. We’ve spent money working on due-diligence and what we’ve been produced with since just isn’t acceptable, in truth.
“We need to know one number: and that is the number the club needs to finish the season. Without those forecasts, it makes this an unviable option.”
And Haven have issued a subsequent statement on Tuesday, declaring that irrespective of whether the takeover goes ahead – though it now is understood to be completely off the table – they must start spending pledged monies.
“We have reached the point where we have to start spending the money both pledged and paid,” they said.
“We feel that we have a moral obligation to offer those who have paid for season tickets a refund their money back if they so desire.
“We have to be honest and state that should a considerable number request their money back, we may not finish the season. Going forward we still want to roll the appeal out and take it onwards to other fans and the business community. We are hopeful that in the coming weeks the appeal will thus raise much more than the £60k that was the set target for the consortium to step in.
“In getting to the end of the season we will also be looking to see if there are other investors out there who might be interested, but that would only be the case if the current negotiations fail.
“I do not think we have need to stress the seriousness of the club’s situation and thus we hope you will see this request in a positive light and help us to continue. We need to spend funds at this month’s end – this is for the club a crucial deadline. Please respond if you wish by close of business on Thursday evening.”